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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Great Oil Spill of 2010

As an outdoor enthusiast company and website, FishAddix LLC and, we thought it would be necessary to weigh in on the Great Oil Spill of Twenty-Ten. The objective of this article is not to ruffle the feathers of the already agitated general public; but rather, to provide some food for thought to those who are tired of reading the same politically laced news fodder. However, since our opinions will be discussed in the article it’s almost certain that those of you who are looking for themes, undertones, and an agenda – will find them.

It is without question that we are living through a significant historic event. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already been crowned the worst oil spill in US history. And whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the events that have unfolded and those that are continuing to unfold will be read about by generations to come. Our every move, decision, strategy, and conversation will likely be a new chapter in the history books of tomorrow. What the history books say about this event and how we handled it cannot be fully understood yet as the impacts of the events continue to change every day. And although this chapter in history may be a gloomy one, it seems to be a necessary evil and one that will ultimately be scrutinized and learned from for years to come.

So what does history have to do with the current events in the Gulf? To this we could offer the age old cliché, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” And while this is true, it’s not really what we are trying to establish. Instead, we are simply acknowledging this event as a significant historic event based on the notion that major historic events and milestones seem to be measured by how many people’s lives are affected by them. Case in point: the space missions and moon landings, the world wars, and 9/11, just to name a few. We are not trying to compare the oil spill to these events or cheapen the past events; however, all these events are major historic happenings because of the shear amount of people affected.
The number of people affected by the event grows in volume everyday as the area of oil increases throughout the ocean and as it washes on shore. The degrees to which people are affected vary greatly, from the not-so-affected people who had their day at the beach ruined, to the severely affected, almost impaired people like local fisherman and residents whose livelihoods now hang in the balance. It’s fair to say that the locals, residents, and fisherman most certainly got the raw end of the deal as their lives may never be the same. Whether the fact that their lives may never be the same is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen. Some would say that they have fallen victim to a man-made disaster, while others would say that these people have been given the opportunity to be on the front line of a global change in the way this world runs. Of course, in war terms, the front line usually suffers great losses and usually what follows is a debate about the philosophy of sacrificing a few to save the majority. And at the risk of repeating ourselves, the degree and magnitude of the sacrifices are still unknown because the Great Oil Spill of 2010 is still in its infancy.

Although the magnitude of sacrifice is unknown, it’s reasonable to state that sacrifices have already been made and will continue to be made by many. What the rest of us do from the outside has the power to ease are intensify those losses. While many people have already responded generously to aid in the relief effort, it pains us to read about the selfish people in the world who seem to care about nothing but themselves. Recently, an article was published on the internet talking about the oil companies profiting from the oil spill because the price of oil jumped up $2 per barrel. This really struck a nerve with our company and we was flabbergasted while reading it. Call us old fashioned but we thought it was absurd to discuss BP’s profitability while efforts should be focused elsewhere. This would be like attending a wake and someone talking about the funeral home or casket maker profiting from the death of others. While the point may be valid, it seems that a lot of people take the liberty of overriding their moral compass nowadays, especially when money is involved.

On the other side of the coin – politics. Now we are not going to cite any documentation on either side of things – because that’s not really the point of the article. However, the spill in the Gulf of Mexico is just another reason on the long list of reasons why this world needs to change how it operates. This is not a plug for completely disbanding oil as a source of fuel or a conspiracy theory about how oil companies rule the world. But recent events certainly call for a play to be made in introducing alternative fuel sources. What those sources are and the timeline for enacting them should be left to the politicians and the highest bidders, but it is undeniable that something needs to be done.

Littered in the news right now is a lot of blaming. People are pointing the finger at the oil companies, politicians are pointing the finger at each other, people are blaming politicians, and the list goes on. But before passing the buck, think about your share in this disaster. Did you know that in a poll conducted in 2008, 67% of people were in favor of offshore drilling for oil, with only 18% opposed and 15% undecided. And now, after this tragedy, people are calling for swift action and penalty for those responsible. It seems hypocritical that people are calling for swift justice now, but before this happened people signed the permission slip for offshore drilling in hopes they would pay less at the pump. It’s very easy to pass the buck and point the finger at someone else, and we are not saying that people shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions, however, before you pass it along, think about your contribution and what you are doing to avoid these situations in the future. Why should we allow drilling one minute and not the next because of an accident? Why should we demand justice from the comfort of our homes instead of taking part in it? And what could you be doing to help?

It almost feels like people are just jumping on the politically correct bandwagon and suggesting the solution that is trending that week instead of accepting their responsibility. The public does not seem to mind being excluded from the roles of judge and jury. In fact, they seem content with not being part of the system at all and would rather watch from a distance like a reality show. How about accepting the responsibility and stopping other people from doing our bidding. Start by carpooling or riding a bike to work. Wear a sweater instead of jacking up the heat. Everyone always thinks that they can’t bring about change, or that they aren’t a contributing factor. But if we the consumer took a stance and acted as the catalyst for change instead of waiting for one, great things could happen.

Paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson, a rebellion is needed every 20 years to bring about change and to eradicate complacency among the people and those in charge. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." To be clear, we are not suggesting that everyone exercise their second amendment right to bear arms, but rather, we are trying to show that a significant event (the oil spill) needs to take place in order to bring about change. And instead of crying over spilled milk and blaming everyone else for the problems, accept your share of the responsibility and do something about this problem that future generations can be proud of. And although it may be time for a change, please do not fall victim to the illusion that all the world’s problems will be saved using alternative fuels. It’s important to remember that there will be problems and consequences that accompany all avenues we chose to explore. However, what’s most important, is that we continue to explore, instead of sitting idly by.

Joe & James
The FishAddix Team

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